DIY Mulled Cider Party Favors

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Apples, pumpkins, and crunchy leaves are some of my favorite things. I fell in love with fall when I was a kid (pun intended), including apple cider. So I'm excited to tell you about these DIY mulled cider party favors! They're pretty easy to make, and in addition to tasting good, they smell WONDERFUL (let's face it, fall IS the most beautiful time of the year! Sorry, Christmas). Wrap them and leave them on top of each place setting, in bags at the door for guests to take on their way out, or feature them in a cute mini-dish as we did below.

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    MINI Black Plastic Ball Chair Bowls with Stem

    What you need:

    • 3 medium oranges
    • 3 cups brown sugar (adjust according to orange size)
    • 6 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 tablespoons nutmeg (or 6 whole nutmegs)
    • 12 whole allspice
    • 36 whole cloves

    Classicware Clear Plastic Coffee Mugs

    Instructions:

    Slice the oranges into even halves and remove the pulp (try to leave the rind intact as best you can). Stuff the empty orange halves with tinfoil to help them keep their shape as they bake. Place the oranges cut side up (like a bowl) on a wire rack or baking sheet. Bake them at 250 degrees for two hours or until they're dry and hard. Once the oranges have cooled, pack them with brown sugar until they're full. Now you can press in cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice in any pattern you like. Wrap your finished product with cellophane and tie it with ribbon. If you have any left cinnamon sticks, you can tie them in with the bow for a cute presentation. Platinum White Plastic Dinner Plates You'll want to include some directions with your favors that explain to your guests how to use their party favors. You can print them onto a decorative card to have with each favor or attach them to a favor bag with the oranges inside.

    Cooking Directions:

    Unwrap cider favors and drop into 1 1/2 quarts apple juice or cider and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, etc.) from the cider and serve in a mug of your choice. Consider adding 1/2 cup of brandy if you want to enjoy a spiked version! Leftover cider can be stored in the refrigerator.

    fall-apple-mulled-cider-party-favor

    Homemade Apple Spice Mix (Perfect, Easy DIY Christmas Gift)

    A jar with a mixture of apple spices on a Christmas-decorated table is an ideal gift and decoration, depending on your creativity!

    It's an apple cinnamon spice mix that's easy to make with just a few ingredients.

    It's perfect for a gift, and you can give it with a bottle of fine apple juice (or red wine!) into which people can mix this. It is always very well received.

    Gather the Supplies to Make Them:

    • 3 Mason Jars, with handles
    • 3 Lids for mason jars
    • 3 disposable plastic cups with lids
    • 3 packets of Apple cider
    • ½ tablespoon Allspice, to divide evenly among jars
    • 1 tablespoon whole Cloves, to divide evenly among jars
    • 6 entire Cinnamon sticks to divide evenly among jars
    • 3 mini bottles Apple flavored whisky or bourbon (optional)
    • 3 Gift tags with string
    • 1 ft. Of twine or string

    Instructions:

    Divide cloves and allspice evenly for the 3 different jars. Place the even amount in the disposable plastic containers, and close the lid.

    Using the twine, tie 2 pieces of cinnamon together. 

    Start arranging the items in the jars, just so they fit. Arrange things the best you can so everything can be seen through the jar.

    Add the Apple cider, plastic container with spices, cinnamon sticks, and liquor if using it.

    Close the jars using the lid. Then, write a note on the card with instructions for mixing the drink. Better yet, look for whimsical holiday quotes that the recipient will enjoy.

    Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

    Ingredients:

    • 3 ounces of cinnamon stick
    • 6 whole nutmegs
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried orange peel
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried lemon peel
    • 1/4 cup allspice berries
    • 1/4 cup whole cloves
    • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger

    Steps to do it:

    Step 1: Gather the ingredients.

    Step 2: Cooking spices for apple and red wine ingredients.

    Step 3: Place the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a tight freezer bag, release the air, and seal.

    Step 4: Pound the spices with the bottom of a rolling pin, a small heavy pan, or a kitchen mallet to break them into small pieces.

    Step 5: Place the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a heavy-duty freezer bag, chopped into small pieces.

    Step 6: Place the crushed spices in a bowl and stir in the orange peel, lemon peel, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger.

    Step 7: Orange peel, lemon peel, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl.

    Step 8: Place about 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the center of each 5-inch square of cheesecloth. Alternatively, you can use empty single-dose tea filter bags.

    Step 9: Tie the cloth tightly with string and use it to prepare mulled cider or wine.

    Step 10: Tie the cheesecloth with a thread, and add seasoning for cooking apples and red wine.

    How to use:

    Each bag holds 3 1/4 cups (750 ml bottle) of red wine or 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of cider.

    To make mulled red wine, combine the wine, 1/3 cup honey or sugar, and a packet of spices in a saucepan. Heat over low heat for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring to dissolve the sweetener. Pour the liquid into the cups, and throw away the bag of spices.

    To make mulled apple cider, you only need a bag of spices and cider. Put in a pot, boil, cover, and simmer on low heat for about half an hour. Discard the spice bag and serve hot cider in mugs.

    Tips:

    Muddling masks many of the subtleties of wine, so you don't waste money on the good stuff.

    You want a big, bold, dry red that will shine through the cooking, so you don't end up with a spice-dominated bite.

     

    Party on, Smarties! With love, Smarty had a Party!

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